Update to Changes Proposed to the Florida Alimony Statute

I previously wrote about a Florida House of Representatives Bill that proposed vast changes to the alimony statute and the “supportive relationship” standard to terminate alimony.

The Florida Senate has a competing bill, SB-748, which makes slightly fewer changes to the alimony standard and is somewhat less controversial than the House Bill.  The Senate summarizes SB-748 as follows:

  • Revises the factors that a court must consider in awarding alimony to include the net income available to each party after the application of the alimony award.
  • Requires the findings that a court must make in determining to award alimony be in writing.
  • Revises the circumstances under which a court may consider adultery by either spouse in its determination of the amount of alimony.
  • Allows a court in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded to consider the adultery of a party only to the extent to which the adultery caused a depletion of marital assets or a reduction in the income of a party.
  • Renames “permanent alimony” to “long-term alimony” and requires the court to make a finding that no other form of alimony will provide for the needs and necessities of life of the recipient as established during the marriage of the parties.
  • Requires a court to make written findings regarding all relevant factors under the court’s consideration when ordering an award of alimony.
  • Specifies circumstances under which the retirement of the obligor of an alimony award justifies the modification of the alimony award.
  • Limits the circumstances in which a court may grant a final dissolution of marriage with a reservation of jurisdiction to subsequently determine all other substantive issues.
  • Prohibits a court from reserving jurisdiction to reinstate an alimony award if the court terminates the award based on the existence of a supportive relationship.
  • Provides that the modification or termination of an alimony award based on the existence of a supportive relationship may be retroactive to the date of the filing of the petition for modification or termination.
  • Prohibits a court from awarding long-term alimony unless the court finds that no other form of alimony will provide for the needs and necessities of life of the recipient as established during the marriage.
  • Prohibits a court from requiring security, such as a life insurance policy or bond, to secure an alimony award unless special circumstances are shown.

In future posts I will provide the text of the senate bill and discuss the effects of these proposed changes.

If you have questions concerning alimony or modification of alimony and you wish to speak with a Tampa Bay Divorce Attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our online form.

About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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2 Responses to Update to Changes Proposed to the Florida Alimony Statute

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Slightly”?
    The senate bill makes essentially no changes and still leaves a judge the ability to force punitive, multiple alimony, possibly permanently rather than requiring a single judgement with a limited duration.
    I’ve never cheated, but if I have a bad marriage, the current law doesn’t let me stay until my kids graduate. My spouse is very talented and can secure a well-paying job, but won’t – even though we have significant financial hardship right now.
    I want a law that clearly states guidelines and maximums that are fair. Senator Flores’ rewrite does no such thing.
    My spouse reads my email so I can’t respond to any automatic confirmation method.
    Anonymous

  2. Pingback: Text of Florida Senate Bill 748 – Proposed Changes to Alimony Laws in Florida | ABC Family Law Blog

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